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What to do If You’re Home During a Break-In

Home invasions are perhaps the most terrifying of any threat to one’s personal security. Your home is the very last place you’d expect to be confronted by a criminal—and yet, it’s estimated that between 10 to 15 percent of all home break-ins occur when at least one person is at home. The good news is those percentages are very low. The bad news is no one is ever really prepared to deal with the situation should it happen to them. What do the experts recommend you do if you ever suspect an intruder has invaded your home? Here are their recommendations:

• Escape—Leave your home via the nearest exit away from the suspected intruder’s location and go to a neighbor or other location to call the police. Never, under any circumstances, try to confront an intruder. It’s unlikely a confrontation will intimidate him or her, and you may place yourself at great physical risk.

• “Wake The Dead”—If you’re upstairs, with no easily accessible way of escape, and you hear an intruder downstairs, set off your system’s alarm (if it’s equipped with an audible signal), turn on a radio or the television at full volume, holler at the top of your lungs as if you’re talking to someone else, “Jim, there’s

someone downstairs!” Then, barricade the doorway to the room you are in with the heaviest piece of furniture you’re able to move.

• Gather Your Family Together—If you aren’t alone in your home, gather everyone together in one room. Then, barricade the door and begin making enough noise to frighten off the intruder. Under normal circumstances a burglar doesn’t want a confrontation any more than you do. So, if you create a racket upstairs, he or she is most likely to escape without incident. As always, your best line of defense is to always arm your system at night and keep all of your doors and windows locked when you are at home alone during the day. Finally, never let strangers come into your home without seeing proper identification before opening your front door to them.

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